Friday’s Fave Five # 6


As usual, I’m late with my FFF, so going directly to my faves, here they are:

1. A close friend from high school had a birthday get-together on Saturday last week. It was nice to be out and doing something on a Saturday night. It’s been a while, and so I made sure I had a good time.

2. The next day, at the church mass on Sunday, I was so lucky to choose a mass that happened to have a children’s choir. My church often receives visitor choir groups from nearby schools. On that morning, the children’s choir was such a delight to listen. The children seem to range from ages 7 to 12 of both genders. I noticed two of the boys were still so young and little, likely to be the youngest ones in the group, that they had to stand on a small chair in order to reach the microphone. The choir’s voice was so pure, innocent, fresh, and beautiful. On two songs, they were singing and moving together a little bit following the song’s rhythm and lyrics. Those kids were just adorable. People were clapping afterwards that it reminded me of the scene from Whoopi Goldberg’s Sister Act. Actually, it was a mix of Sister Act and Sound of Music. Just…mind blowing. My eyes filled with tears a few times from being touched by the beautiful music. I was so lucky to experience it and be part of the beautiful moment. Loved it!

3. On Monday, I got to hang out after work with my new coworkers. My first time hanging out with them. We went to see a movie and ate dinner afterwards. The only movie that was decent enough to watch, unfortunately, was Breaking Dawn. I’m not a big fan of the Twilight Saga, but the movie was surprisingly entertaining. Anyway, I got to see my new coworkers in a different light. I had a good time! My feet, however, gave up at the end of the day. I had blisters from wearing these professional looking shoes all day. I sure miss my sandals.

4. On Thursday, I attended a graduation celebration for the newly graduates from my department, the psychology department. These were students that were about to graduate with their Bachelor degree in psychology the next morning. The tradition is that either on the eve or a few days before graduation, all the to-be graduates receive some kind of farewell ceremony within their department, a small version of graduation ceremony. It was a wonderful celebration, and I got to meet more new faces (yippee!…*grunting*). All of those faces that I met introduced their names to me, and almost none of those names I still remember. I know, this is bad. They should have probably served alcohol with the meal too, and maybe, maybe then I will remember. 😉

5. This fifth one may sound strange and rude to some, but it’s not my intention to be rude. The story goes like this: I heard a sad news on Friday about a death in the family of someone I went to the same high school together. I never talked to her then and honestly, I didn’t know her then and now, but I know of her, I know who she is. She receives two unfortunate deaths in her family within a period of less than a month, two close and important people in her life. When I heard about it on Friday, my heart just felt so bad for her. I mean the trial time that she’s in now is so heavy and big. You may wonder why I picked this as one of my faves and this is the part that may sound rude or bad to some people, but I’m hoping it’s not. It’s because I see an incident like what happens to my friend as a reminder for me of what I have, of the precious people that are close to my heart, and I am thankful for them and for what I have. I try to remember to be thankful in my prayer every day. And for those people who I can’t express directly how much I am thankful for their roles in my life, I pray for their well-being and I thank them in my prayer for entering my life.

These are my FFF. I had a wonderful week this past one. I hope I’m blessed enough to have more to come.

*******************************************************

Please click at the FFF Christmas image above to see more FFF entries by other bloggers. Thank you for visiting and reading. I wish you all a wonderful week as well.

Advertisements

Friday’s Fave Five # 5


I’m late to turn in my FFF. This was supposed to be turned in on Friday, December 2, and I just wrote mine today. So everything I wrote here was from last week Saturday to Friday, the 2nd. Not to waste anymore time, here they are:

1. For my number one this week, it has to be the starting of my new job on Thursday, December 1st. It went smoothly, if anything it was a bit slow. The pace picked up a little faster the next day and on Saturday. Yes, I have to work from Monday to Saturday, but that is actually normal in Indonesia. Many schools and offices do open from Monday to Saturday. I am going to miss having Saturday off. Another adjustment.

2. On Tuesday, I spent my whole morning and half of my afternoon with a friend from high school. It’s been months since the last time I saw her, and we spent hours of talking about the present and reminiscing about the past in between her driving to pick her daughter from school, taking the daughter to an after-school tutoring class, eating lunch together at the mall, and then picking up her son from his school. It was awesome. Oh, I forgot to mention that at one point we were talking while she was feeding her daughter in the car. I love it. It beats any lunch time meetings I’ve ever had in the past with friends over salad and ice tea.

3. While eating lunch at the mall with my friend, the mall apparently thought that it was time to start playing Christmas music. It was only November at that time. I was waiting for the same feeling that I used to have in previous years every time I listened to the first Christmas music playing in the stores or malls, but it didn’t happen this time. Instead of feeling negative about the music, I actually welcomed it this time and enjoyed it. I also didn’t feel homesick. I felt content listening to it.

4. I went out to a mall by myself for the first time this week in this city. That’s a loaded statement, by the way, if you knew me. For one, I’m not a mall person. I don’t really look forward to going to any mall, not to mention going to a mall alone. I always think that it looks and feels stupid to walk around in the mall alone, especially when you have nothing to buy. Well, that’s just it. I forced myself to go because I had to buy some things and to get a haircut. I went in and out as soon as I could. Like a flash. But I got what I needed, which was a gift for a friend. And I got the haircut I needed, so I considered the trip as an accomplishment.

5. Somehow I managed to cut my electricity use this month by half from the previous month. Don’t ask how, but I was just so happy when I saw the bill. 🙂

That’s all, folks. Please click the Christmas FFF above to read more other bloggers’ FFF.

Have a wonderful week to all of you. I will probably be spending less time with my blog because of the early adjustment process with starting a new job, but I’m still around and will be posting posts here and there.

Friday’s Fave Five # 4


I’m trying something different today, putting poetry aside temporarily. The last time I joined this Friday’s Fave Five meme was in June 11th this year. I remember that day very well. It was a Saturday, my last weekend in the U.S. I left 6 days later on the 17th. I haven’t been back to this FFF meme for that long and I kinda miss it. So, without wasting any more time, here are my five favorite things that happened this week:

1. Many of my friends know that I currently rent a room in Indonesia. It’s a living situation that is actually very common in Indonesia. Apartments are starting to appear here and there in big cities, and so they’re not as commonly available yet as in the U.S. Instead, what’s more common are houses, big or small, with rooms to be rented out. It’s a temporary living arrangement that I decided to take up for the moment to make it easier for me. Anyway, this house where I stay currently houses about 30-40 ladies. I have been staying to myself in my room most of the time, which is perhaps an attempt to maintain some kind of privacy on my part. However, it’s already getting close to the end of my second month here and I started to wonder if I should at least do a little chit chat or small talk here and there with some at least, but never found a good opportunity to do that. Then one came knocking earlier this week, on Monday. There was a soccer game on TV, Indonesia vs. Malaysia. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the situation between these two countries, let me inform you that there’s a little bit of rivalry between the two. Well, a little is probably not a fair one to say. A HUGE rivalry between the two. I think we’re always friendly to each other to the eyes of the world, but there are just those little things behind the camera that we’re constantly competing and bickering. It was the final game to determine the gold medalist during the SEA (South East Asian) Games in soccer. SEA Games is held similar to the Summer Olympics but among Southeast Asian countries only. I don’t need to tell you how big this soccer game meant for the two countries.

So I started watching the pre-game show. Pretty soon, the other occupants started to show up. Some brought their dinner, some brought snacks, and one surprisingly brought a can of beer, which is a very rare thing to see in Indonesia. If I were still in the U.S., it wouldn’t surprise me a bit, but not here. Oh jeez, am I old fashioned? Unfortunately, she wasn’t sharing. Ugh. She only had one can, and I was too embarrassed to ask. Anyway, the game.

It was a good game. Indonesia scored the first goal within 5 minutes the game started, followed by Malaysia not too long later, also within the first round. After those two goals, the game kind of put us on edge the entire time. Many attempts, many free kicks, corner kicks, but none went in. Second round, still the same. Over time, round one, the same. The last round of over time, still no score. Liked it or not, the game was forced to go to the penalty kicks. Needless to say, I was off of my seat, walking around, separating myself from the group. See, I had to swear…in English. Didn’t want to scare anyone. The game was held in Indonesia. There were plenty of Malaysian fans too, but I swear to you, during those last moments, the stadium was…quiet. And my fear happened. We were hit hard. On the last kick! It had gone to the last of the 5 kicks, and right there, all hope suddenly… poof! Gone. Oh, what a shame. What a disappointment. Indonesia lost. In our land too. Defeated by our biggest ene…errr…friend :D.

The whole game just took us on this roller coaster ride from the beginning. We hoped, we cheered, we screamed, we laughed. We made quite a harmonious small choir that night. It was wonderful. Yes, we lost the game but somehow I left feeling good. Here’s my favorite part of the whole night. While the game was awesome, it wasn’t really about the game that made me put this event as number one on my fave fives. A thought couldn’t help to pop up…did I just bond with the girls? Oh my, I believe I did. And it gets even more odd: it happened over a sports game. I mean, a bunch of ladies? Sports? And not even in a bar? *shrug* Just a thought ;).

Now, seriously, after a story like the one above, should I really continue with the other 4 faves? Okay, if you say so. I’ll try, but I doubt nothing can beat that one.

2. I bought my own first, Indonesian-language bible. Hoaaa???? What, what? See, I told you! But on a more serious note now, and by the way, I honestly did not pick this point on purpose to show the climactic difference between its value from the one before it ;), but I put it here because it meant a great deal for me. I never bought myself a bible. This was the first one, my own. I’ve always been given one or borrowed someone else’s, not to mention one in my own language.

3. I’m the type that when I get to a new place and by myself, I tend not to venture out to explore it right away. I would probably wait it out a bit, sit and watch people first, and then..maybe, I will slowly try to explore the area. This can be applied to how I adjust to my current living place. It’s almost two months and I still don’t know much about where to go in my area to buy food. I know some places, but apparently not a whole lot. This week, I learned that just around the block from my building, a stretch of the street apparently bloomed with street food vendors in the evening. Now, why did it take me this long to know this? So I ventured out of comfort zone a bit more this week. I got to know a little more about my area. And I tell you what, it was worth the fried rice and fried noodle I’ve been having this week. Slurp… :D.

4. I went out for a dinner with two close friends last night. If you’ve been following my blog, you have actually met these two characters. They are my fellow thieves (see the blog piece here). Luckily, we did not have to steal our meals last night.

5. And last but not least, my blog and supportive comments from my friends/readers. I’ve started to become active again with my blog, a commitment that perhaps is easier to accomplish this week and next week, but not so much easier after that. I’ll be officially ending my “unemployment” status next week and heading into another new adjustment territory. I hope to be able to keep up with this blog then. This blog, the writing, the productivity, the keeping my mind busy, have helped me tremendously this week and last week. I feel so positive every time I published a blog piece and received feedback, and therefore, I would like to be able to continue it even during my new adjustment time in the near future.

*************************************

These are my FFF for this week, folks. What’s yours? Hope to join this meme again next week. Until then, have a wonderful weekend, everyone. I’ll be busy visiting other blogs this weekend again. Ciao for now.

Please click at the Friday’s Fave Five’s logo on the top to take you to Susanne’s blog, Living to Tell the Story, to see other entries for FFF this week.

Friday’s Fave Five # 3


I don’t have much time left to blog for today, so I will get to the point. Here are my fave fives:

1.  The week has been a good one, easier than the previous two weeks. I got to spend more time with my friends. We met on Tuesday, ate at our favorite restaurant, and took some pictures outside of the restaurant. It was a lovely dinner date with these two ladies. I enjoyed every single minute of our time together.  On Thursday, I saw them again for what was likely to be our last time spent together in Chicago.  I can honestly say that I don’t know if we can have another date together in Chicago again. I can’t predict the future and I can only hope that we will have another Tuesday night dinner date together again, but it may not be the case. Perhaps we can meet somewhere else next time, in another country. I can only hope.

2. On our Thursday night out, two other friends joined us for the dinner.  It was a lovely dinner at a nice restaurant.  The restaurant was a little bit too loud, but the food was good and the company for the dinner was even better. It was also bittersweet because it was a goodbye dinner.  After the dinner some of us went out for some more drinks and talks. I had such a good time, and a hangover the next morning.  Luckily I stayed over at Sheila’s place, so I didn’t have to go home in that state of mind.  I said goodbye to all of them in the end and it was hard. Lucky me, I had the entire train ride home the next day to process everything, although it was a little bit hard because of the hangover headache 🙂

3. This Friday’s Fave Five meme. On some Fridays, it was harder than usual to come up with five favorite things, but it was also a wonderful exercise to do for the exact reason of trying to find things to be thankful for. This meme has challenged me to stay positive during the most difficult time, which is not easy to do. So thanks to Susanne at Living to Tell the Story

4.  The wonderful comments and words of support from my readers.  Without your support, I don’t think blogging would be this enjoyable.  Some of them have also been so brave to tell their own stories in order to support me with what I’m going through right now, and I appreciate them so much.  It is amazing the connection that can happen from a bunch of strangers, connected by the same love of writing and the appreciation of life’s ups and downs.

5.  And for the last fave, I’ll save it for the wonderful chocolate martini drink I had on Thursday. Woohoo! I had 3 of them and loved every sip of it!

That’s all for now, folks. Have a wonderful weekend to all of you.

 

Friday’s Fave Five # 2


Here we go again, time for FFF. Unlike last week, however, this time my heart was not really into doing this but I forced myself anyway because it might be good to reflect on some positive things. It has been another difficult week with most downs and very little ups. At the beginning of this writing, I couldn’t even think of five things, but continued with the writing anyway to hopefully make it to five. Here we go:

1. I spent an evening on Tuesday with my two girlfriends, Laura and Sheila, separately. It would have been nice to meet them both together, all three of us chatting, but because of time restrictions for the two ladies I could only meet one at a time. I had a wonderful time chatting with them. I saw Laura at the Autism Walk the week before, but the last time I saw Sheila was about a month ago and we had plenty to catch up. I had a lovely time. I know I can always count on some meaningful conversations with them, and I will miss them tremendously.

2. I have been avoiding alcohol for over a month now because I was afraid that alcohol would make me more depressed. These past several months have been difficult and I believe avoiding alcohol has helped me a little. I used to at least have a glass or two once a week whenever I spent time with Sheila on our Tuesday-night hang out time. We’d meet up on Tuesday nights to talk and have a drink or two, but because of financial restriction on my part, we had moved our meeting place from a bar/restaurant to a coffee shop and had tea instead. Well, on Tuesday this week, we made a last minute decision to go back to our favorite Tuesday hang out place where they have the $5 dollar martini special every Tuesday night. I had one martini and she had…two! And she’s smaller than me too. I wish I took a picture of her martinis because they didn’t look like a martini at all, more like a dessert: chocolate something martini with whipped cream about 2-3 inches tall in the middle. I felt full just looking at it. I had a Chicago cosmo. I know, it sounds boring compared to hers, but left me still feeling under-control afterward. I shared this here as one of my faves because it was not the drink that I enjoyed the most, but the moment. I am most thankful for having the time to spend with this special lady. There were times in the past when no more words were shared; just silence and tears. It was the companionship, the understanding, and the emotional bond that made those moments unforgettable. I will miss this one too.

3. My blog again. As always, I can escape into my blog and express myself away. Into my words I disappear…. My blog is my refuge.

4. My facebook friends. i say facebook friends because other than the two ladies I mentioned above, the rest of my friends live inside my laptop.  I am thankful for having them. I am thankful for those who stick with me through these difficult times, who show interest that they want to be part of my life, who ask questions. You know who you are and I appreciate you. For those who have deleted me, rejected or ignored me for one reason or another, showed no interest, that’s okay too. I become stronger because of them. The next few months are crucial because I will find out who I can truly consider as true friends. If they still accept me and stick around even after finding out the decision I recently made, then I know I can rely on them for friendship and support. Oprah Winfrey says it best, “Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.” Let’s see who still wants to stick around when I have nothing left, none whatsoever.  Empty, broke, broken, in pieces, maybe even bitter. For now, though, I am thankful for the ones who are still around. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. I don’t think I could survive this long without you all.

5. Shoot, I don’t know what else to put here. Oh, I guess I can say that I have the D-day. D is for departure. Ticket bought, just need to pack, throw/sell/give away some things, clean up stuff, buy some vitamins to bring home for parents, and calm my nerves in the mean time because I’m scared shit! (I mean, who in their right mind would want to start over at a new place, at another country, when nearing 40, all alone?). To say I’m scared is actually an understatement. I’m terrified to the point that sometimes I feel like I can’t move. “Am I crazy?” is the question that I’ve been asking myself over and over. To a certain degree I think I am, I must be.

Life sure is a journey.  I understand it now.  As hard and scary as it is for me to think about the future, I do look forward to a seeing a light of hope however dim the light may look from my point of view at this point.  This is where I rely on my faith to help me gain strength to keep going.

 

P.S.  I’d like to make a clarification here that I will be going back to my country, the place where I was born and raised.  However, I’ve lived in the U.S. for over 20 years and slightly longer than the time I spent in Indonesia, my home country.  In a way, it is like going to a new place, starting over fresh from ground zero, the part that frightens me.  I do have about 90% of my family members there, and many of the facebook friends will hopefully become face-to-face friends.  I just want to clarify it here after reading some comments from some of my readers.  I am coming home, dear friends, which actually doesn’t sound that bad at all, but nonetheless terrifying for me.

Friday’s Fave Five


Friday’s Fave 5 has a pretty badge that I have to put in the opening of this post. Won’t you agree with me? This is my first time participating in FFF. For those of my readers who are not familiar with it, it is a prompt for bloggers like me to write 5 favorite things or 5 things that we are thankful for this week. You can click on the badge above to be taken to the website that starts the FFF prompt. It just happens too that I have been having a somewhat rough week, emotionally, on my first participation. However, perhaps that’s wherein lies the challenge that requires me to dig a little bit deeper this week. I am hoping that on future Fridays I won’t have to do too deep of a digging to find those 5 favorites.

So here are my five faves from this week:

1.  The first one on my list has to be this BLOG. My blogging activity has saved me this week. If it weren’t for my blog, I honestly wouldn’t know how I could have survived this week. My blog has been functioning as a form of release for me to express what’s in my mind. I have so many things clogging my mind this week but for one reason or another I felt like I couldn’t express them verbally. Hence, they come out through my writing. Needless to say, It’s been a very productive week in writing poetry. W.B. Yeats wrote, “Out of the quarrel with others we make rhetoric; out of the quarrel with ourselves we make poetry.”

2. Despite the rain last night and on the day before, we’ve been having some nice days with the sun out in full force. I am thankful for those sunny days, even though on some days I still had to wear a jacket. It’s amazing how much the sun can influence my life, my mood, and my attitude. I try not to give it too much power over my life, which I managed to do it successfully on some days but not all the time. What has helped me when I feel down during a sun-less day is the thinking that tomorrow will be better. I rely on that thinking deeply because it’s the only thing sometimes that I have left to help me through the day. See, it offers me a feeling of hope, which I need tremendously right now.

3. If you have been following my writing, you can probably guess how I spent my late afternoon during those sunny days. Yup, you’re right. I walked outdoor. I love my walk. It’s my escape and my exercise. I use the walk as a time where I ponder on things that happen in my life. I always walk alone, not necessarily by choice, but because I have nobody else to walk with. Because I walk alone, it gives me an opportunity to be alone with my thoughts, uninterruptedly.

4. That last sentence in the previous point then brings me to another favorite, solitude. The true solitude that I managed to have this week has been my refuge, saved me from going deeper into the abyss. I call it “true solitude” because I try to separate it from the kind of solitude that borders with loneliness. To have a true solitude time where I truly feel peace and not bothered with a slice thought of loneliness is rare for me. Luckily I was able to experience a little bit of that true solitude this week when I needed it the most, which I am very thankful for.

5. Lastly, I received a piece of good news earlier this week about a friend of mine who is going through a difficult time with an illness. She went through a surgery earlier this week and the surgery went well. God answered my prayers and I am very thankful. The road of recovery is still long for my friend, though, and she can still slip back into darkness at any time during this unstable stage, I can only offer her my friendship and prayers at this time, but I hope to give her more of my time directly in the future as I am coming closer to accompany her in her recovery. I just hope that God continues to hear my prayers and allow me to see her again. She is a dear friend and that kind of friendship is hard to find.

Well, those are my fave five for this week. Do you have your own fave five? Perhaps you would like to share them too? Have a wonderful weekend to all of my readers. May peace be with us all.